Letter to the editor: We must fix our inadequate public safety systems | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: We must fix our inadequate public safety systems

Jay Johnson

I turn on to Moonstone Road in Breckenridge, and halfway up the road, five cars have piled into one another. I call 911.

Operator: “What’s your emergency?”

Me: “Moonstone is an icy mess. I need a sand truck and police lights on both ends to prevent further accidents.”

Colorado State Patrol arrives about 45 minutes after the 911 call. The trooper drives past the line of cars and, once stopped, begins to slide sideways downhill and slams into my car.

The 911 operator told me not to call 911.

Operator: “Don’t call us as we only respond to emergencies.”

Me: “Well if these roads don’t get sand, there will be an emergency.”

If anyone sees a drunken driver on the road, we call 911. But if Moonstone is treacherous, then every single car on the road becomes like a drunk driver.

There are critical system failures that need to be addressed:

  • The Summit County road and bridge department might need lots more funding.
  • Local law enforcement could take control of roads beyond town limits and eliminate state patrol from being responsible for accident coverage. One solution is maybe a mutual-aid agreement between law enforcement agencies.
  • The Breckenridge Police Department is sized for a town of 5,000 residents, but we have 25,000 to 35,000 on a regular basis. A community of that size should have 28 to 35 officers, and we have 16.
  • I encourage everyone in Summit County to be the eyes and ears on our roads and report treacherous road conditions using the 911 system.

State patrol officials explained to me that Summit County has the most dangerous roads in Colorado and that they spend more time here than anywhere else in the state.

We must fix inadequate systems that are designed to protect us and our guests.

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